You may be someone who has a knack for solving your own problems, is the go-to person for advice and have that extra sense of insight into your own patterns. Still, you recently feel the light inside has gone dull and you find yourself struggling to enjoy your daily life.
If you're reading this..
…You may have been sitting up at night twisting and turning seeking some relief.
..You're finding yourself venting to anyone would has the time to listen to you, yet you're left with the same feelings on the inside.
…You experience panic that comes in waves, the worries that spiral and don't give up.
I can understand how hard it is to be in pain and not know where to turn.
There's a difference between being an alarmist and running to therapy (no, not all therapists think that everyone needs therapy for every issue that arises), and the issues that are best treated under the care of someone skilled with clinical expertise in the issues bogging you down.
How do you differentiate between the occasional humps of life, the "once in a while sleepless night" VS the "I need help" kind of feeling?
Many stressors are adequately managed by taking the extra breath, chanting that "you can do it" mantra, yet there are some that bring with them a whirlwind of pain that, left unattended, can bring you to feeling that life is unmanageable.
Here are 7 Signs that let you know it's time to seek therapy:
1. Life feels dull.
You're having a hard time engaging in the regular activities and hobbies that used to bring you joy, and are not feeling the excitement you'd naturally feel when trying something new or special.
2. Feeling chronically sad, angry or extra moody.
You have that "not-feeling-like-yourself" kind of feeling. Your natural personality feels a bit dim and instead you're surrounded by feelings of hopelessness, anger, sadness or an extra level of irritability. Mental health treatment can help with these feelings.
3. Social Isolation or added Social Anxiety.
Do you notice that you're choosing to stay in a lot more frequently than you're used to, you're withdrawn and possibly more anxious when you're around others? It's normal to want to hide in your cave when life feels dark and even scary, but know that reaching out for help can support you in addressing what's beneath the urge to hide.
4. Sudden changes in self care.
Do you notice a shift in your ability to stick to your eating habits? A shift in sleep patterns-hardly sleeping or sleeping excessive amounts. Maybe you're experiencing difficulty tending to your personal hygiene, and/or notice that you're unable to stay committed to the boundaries and limits you've set. This can be regarding self care as a daily routine, or interpersonally, you're having a hard time staying steady on the limits you have always set with others.
5. Using alcohol, food or sex to cope.
All of the above can be used recreationally and in healthy doses, however, if you're using drugs, alcohol, food or sex to numb sadness or strong emotions, and are unable to stop the behaviors despite negative consequences, it's time for help. Psychotherapy helps you address and treat the underlying pain point and treat the reason, the why, so you can let go of the trappings that that numbing, addictive or compulsive behavior are providing.
6. You're experiencing a deep grief.
Grief is an experience most of us go through at different times in our lives. Grief can be something experienced over a shorter period of time and yet for others, grief can last a long while. Losing a loved one, going through a breakup, losing a job, experiencing traumatic events or experiencing significant changes can complicate the grieving process. If you've been feeling the cloud of grief hovering over you for some time, there is no shame in reaching out and getting help so that you can grieve successfully.
Successful grief isn't about avoiding the emotions, rather, experiencing emotions is part of the grieving process. In healthy grieving, however, there is a flow, no matter how dark or sad. There is a sense of movement and a working through, so that you're moving upward in the healing process, not getting stuck in the mud.
7. You have symptoms of trauma from a recent or not-so-recent event.
You may have recently experienced something that has left you feeling scared. It may be an obvious or subtle change you may notice. You may be feeling doubtful, insecure or unsafe. It may have been an intense encounter at work, in a social setting, or a recent interaction that left you feeling triggered and confused.
Trauma can also be related something you've experienced in your younger years; emotional abuse, sexual trauma, physical abuse or neglect. You may have recently become attuned to the grumblings of that pain or the hurt of past wounds, and psychotherapy can help you work through that. Another reason you may experience trauma symptoms is if you've witnessed a crime or accident scene and can't seem to shake the images from your mind or body.
Whatever it may be, the sooner you reach out for help, the sooner you'll experience relief. Reaching out for therapy is about finding a space to gently place your worries and slowly unpack, process and learn new skills to cope with the tough stuff weighing you down. Working with a therapist who is trustworthy, nonjudgemental, objective and has professional skills to support you can be a transformative experience.
Clients have often expressed shifts, even early on in therapy, simply from beginning to hear their own inner thoughts and wisdom in a new light.
There are some magical moments that unfold in the open, healing space of the psychotherapy room with a trusted other.
If you are in search of a therapist and live in the area of Nassau County or anywhere in Long Island, I'd be happy to help you find the right therapist to support you. Call me today to schedule a consultation at 347-903-7835 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org